Minutes tick by each hour. Whether the time is memorialized in a minutes document or not, the hours have come and gone. We may or may not have accomplished anything, and we may or many not have anything to show for the day.
Personal minutes take the forms of journals, diaries, calendars, and electronic notes to ourselves. Gratitude journals. Bullet-journals. Guided journaling diaries. Art journals. Notes in the books you are reading – all are forms of personal minutes.
Professional workplace minutes record motions, decisions, actions taken, and next steps to be taken. Workplace minutes documents serve as a protection to individuals, teams, and the organization answering the question who was going to do what by when?
Minutes also preserve the decisions and accomplishments of an organization thereby providing history and performance protections. When a meeting (virtual or in-person or hybrid) concludes without a record of the results and next steps, most attendees begin to wonder why the meeting was held, or why they attended.
Minutes are easy to record when a clear meeting agenda exists, and an effective leader guides the discussions, decisions, and information sharing. Without and agenda, there is no direction about what is important and should be recorded.
Effective minutes documents summarize agenda item discussions, fully record decisions and motions, and document that action items agreed to or assigned in the form of Who will do What by When.
Electronic meeting templates make minute-taking easier than ever. Logos, headers with fill-in-the-blank paragraphs or bullet points, and clear Action Item sections provide for repeatable minute-taking without the past pains of writing, typing, and formatting hours.
When you are unable to attend a meeting – due to a schedule conflict or by choice about how to use your time – ask for the meeting minutes. If no minutes are provided, you cannot be expected to accomplish work discussed in that meeting (unless someone comes directly to you with a request or an assignment).
What are you going to accomplish this week? Will it be reflected in your personal minutes? In your workplace minutes?
Ready to establish or improve actionable meeting minutes? Contact Jana: 208-367-1701
As the author of seven books, in seven languages, Jana has been interviewed by U.S., Canadian, and European programs, and magazines. Her presentations have been seen in the United States and India by international audience members.
Workplace – the Blog: Managing the moments of our day-to-day business lives takes work. Together, let’s explore what issues and activities affect us every day (or some days) that we go to work. Together we can find working solutions.